Saturday, June 24, 2006

Our Authority, His Authority

I finished The Believer’s Authority by Kenneth E. Hagin this morning and in the morning there is always more clarity.

So here’s the Barbara Ruglio definitive word on the subject, free of charge because who would pay money for such….

I still think there is merit in some of this theory. We do have authority as believers. We have authority over sin and temptation in our life, thus Pastor Ed telling us to talk to it: “Temptation, you cannot have my future, my family or my faith!” Notice how we were not encouraged to address Satan and I think that is instructive.

I agree that if we do not exercise the spiritual gift of self control with the other fruits of the Spirit, that sin can overtake us in our lives. I believe we need to exercise authority in this area in our own lives and not wait for "Genie" Jesus to pour self control on us and make us want to stop sinning. We need to take the steps of authority, in a prayerful, discerning way, with the help of our sisters and brothers in Christ, dependent always on His power, but being pro-active in it.

I agree that our prayers change things. I believe in the power of prayer. I therefore must believe that when we fail to pray, we can fail to be healed, to overcome the sin in our own life, and to be Christ’s hands, feet and voice in redeeming the world.

I agree that the church, us as believers, are Jesus’ only plan to redeem the world. He has no “plan B.”

But God remains God, not matter what theories and theologies we may try to build around Him. He will do what He will do. After all, God is funny like that, He thinks He is God. And that is where not the “word” of faith comes in, but the “rest” of faith, if you would. We need to rest and find peace that God has it no matter what it looks like and continue to pray and serve and learn.

I believe that God hears our prayers and lovingly answers them, as a loving mother discerns the needs of her small child, understanding and effectively helping. When onlookers wonder what the kid is muttering, the mother knows. God knows us like that. There is no right way to pray. We only need to keep praying and as we exercise our prayer life, our conversations with God get fuller, richer, deeper. It is a growing relationship we want, after all, not religion.

And as for me, when I look for a pastor and a church where I can grow and serve and devote my life, I want to find one who is not focused on our authority and our words of faith, but on His Power, His Authority and His Words of truth and grace, of mercy and love.

And that is why I am at MCC.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Where she left me standing

Today I went back to the place where she left me standing.

I must have been about 10 years old. It was after CCD classes on a Wednesday late afternoon. And I stood there waiting with my younger brother.

We waited and all the other children got picked up or started walking home. We waited and waited, until we anxiously started to walk to the corner. That was as far as I dared to go because I did not know the way home.

I remember staring at the brick buildings. I remember wondering where she was and when she was going to come for us. I struggle to remember the feelings, because they defy words.

And one day, one of those waiting days on that corner, when it seemed like we waited forever and the sky was growing dark, one of those days I must have decided that I need not wait for her any more. Some day, I would be big enough and I would know the way home. I would learn it. I would be able to walk home and not wait for her at anymore.

And I did. I walked to school. I walked to dance classes. I walked to stores. I walked to church.

And when the laundry was never done, I started to do the laundry. And when dinner was never cooked, I learned to cook it.

I did it. And it was done.

I did not have to tell her and have her not listen. I would not have to hear her excuses. I would not have to wait on the corner and wonder. I could do it myself. I could be done.

I walked that way today. Past the church where I had CCD. Past the corner where I stood 40 years ago and waited. And from there I walked home.

Use my words, she tells me. But my words never helped. She never understood. She never said she was sorry. There was always a good excuse. And the next time, she always did it again.

Don't abandon me, she tells me. But when we can not talk about it, how can we compromise? How long can I wait?

Until I am done.

And one by one, I became done with everyone and everything. It can not go on like this.

Father, You have called me to a place where I must confront, I must stay and fix it. I can not be done and walk away, walk home. But I do not know what to do. What do I do, Father? Give me the words of truth. Help them hear. Help us compromise.

And You alone, My Beloved, will get the glory.